Attorneys

David Shuster

David J. Shuster

Principal
(410) 347-7404(410) 361-8229

Biography

David Shuster is a trial lawyer and the firm's Managing Principal. Dave enjoys the relationships that are developed and the diverse legal challenges that are presented in a varied law practice. Dave represents commercial clients in business litigation, construction claims, and real estate litigation. In addition, he has particular experience representing professionals and prominent members of the community in sensitive matters. Dave also has significant experience representing plaintiffs in claims involving serious personal injuries. As plaintiff's counsel, Dave has recovered millions for his clients. He enjoys and excels at being a trusted advisor to clients who are confronted with uniquely-complex legal challenges.


Recognition

Dave is recognized in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, and annually in Maryland Super Lawyers since 2009. He was invited to serve as an instructor in the civil litigation program of the Court of Appeals' Professionalism Course for New Admittees of the Maryland Bar, and he is a member of the Character Committee of the Court of Appeals of Maryland for the Sixth Appellate Circuit. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he taught appellate advocacy and legal analysis, research, and writing courses. In law school, he was an Associate Editor of the University of Baltimore Law Review.


Service

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Board of Directors

CollegeBound Foundation, Lawyers' Campaign Executive Committee, Member, former Co-Chair

Court of Appeals of Maryland Sixth Appellate Circuit, Character Committee

The Wranglers, Member, past President


Memberships

American Bar Association

Bar Association of Baltimore City

Baltimore County Bar Association

Maryland State Bar Association

National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees


Outside the Office

Growing up playing ice hockey, Dave coached his sons' youth hockey teams and enjoys playing in area adult hockey leagues. He is a dedicated cyclist and has completed many century (100+ miles) rides. Along with several other colleagues at the firm, Dave organizes the firm’s annual "Ride to the Tide" – a 125-mile bicycle ride from the firm's office building to the Maryland State Bar Association's Annual Meeting in Ocean City, Maryland. Over the years, cyclists in the Ride to the Tide have included the firm's lawyers and summer associates, clients, local attorneys, judges, and other friends of the firm.

Representative Matters

Successful Settlements of Injury Claims

Products Liability

Secured favorable settlements for several claimants alleging injuries from pharmaceutical products.

Secured favorable settlement for an operator of industrial equipment who sustained serious personal injuries.

Auto accidents

Secured favorable settlement for an adult driver and minor passengers hit by an oncoming vehicle.

Secured favorable settlement for the back-seat passenger of a vehicle that was rear-ended on the highway.

Secured favorable settlement for a pedestrian who was hit by an automobile in a parking lot.

Secured favorable settlement for an adult driver and minor passengers hit by an oncoming car.

Secured favorable settlement for a passenger of a for-hire vehicle.

Secured favorable settlement for a pedestrian who was fatally injured by a vehicle.

Secured favorable settlement for a cyclist hit by a vehicle.

Secured favorable settlement for a driver and passenger who were hit by vehicle that ran a red light.

Secured favorable settlement for a professional athlete in a rear-end collision.

Slip and Fall

Secured favorable settlement of a slip-and-fall claim (office building).

Secured favorable settlement of a slip-and-fall claim (commercial building).

Secured favorable settlement of a slip-and-fall claim (independent restaurant).

Secured favorable settlement of a slip-and-fall claim (store).

Secured favorable settlement of a slip-and-fall claim (chain restaurant).

Secured favorable settlement of a slip-and-fall (bus).

Medical Malpractice

Secured favorable settlement for a patient of a gynecologic procedure.

Secured favorable settlement for a patient of an ophthalmology procedure.

Secured favorable settlement for a patient of orthopedic procedure.

Secured favorable settlement for a patient who developed complications following a post-operative infection.

Secured favorable settlement for a patient who developed complications following a colonoscopy.

Secured favorable settlement for a patient who developed complications from a tumor.

Litigation

 Professionals / High-Level Executives / Business Principals

Legal malpractice claims. Represented various lawyers and law firms in legal malpractice actions and in matters involving allegations of professional misconduct. Successes include obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a law firm in a malpractice case filed by the firm's former client who alleged malpractice in connection with a commercial transaction.

Lender liability claims. Represented various lending industry parties (e.g., loan brokerage company, in-house counsel, and loan officers) in cases involving claims of lender-liability and wrongdoing in connection with the issuance, underwriting, and collateralization of commercial and residential loans. Successes include defeating loan guarantor's efforts to enjoin lender's collection and execution proceedings.

Dispute between principals of land development venture. Successfully represented a client against his partner in a dispute concerning a land-development project. The client's partner filed suit seeking reimbursement of investment payments and the re-titling of real estate. The client filed a counterclaim. The court granted summary judgment for the client and against the client's partner on the partner's complaint, and the client obtained a money judgment against the partner on the client's counterclaim.

Construction / Real Estate

Recovery of Commercial Real Estate Commissions. Represented a commercial real estate brokerage company that filed suit to recover commissions in connection with the sale of a multi-million dollar high-rise office building. Despite the absence of a formal written agreement between the parties, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the broker after a multi-day jury trial; the case resolved during the subsequent appeal.

Property Boundary Dispute. Successfully defended a regional homebuilder at trial in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware in and for Sussex County. The lawsuit alleged that a section of a residential subdivision was not constructed in accordance with county-approved development plans and, as a result, the placement of a road and related utilities encroached on residential lots. The court declined to award the any of the remedies sought by the plaintiff.

Property Boundary Dispute. Obtained dismissal of a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County against a regional homebuilder in a suit alleging that residential lots encroached on a public right of way.

Construction Dispute. Successfully represented at trial and on appeal a general contractor against a subcontractor that withdrew from a fast-track public construction project before the parties entered into a formal written contract. Shortly before the subcontractor's work was to commence, the sub notified the GC that the sub would not proceed, which forced the GC to hire a substitute subcontractor at a substantially higher price. Despite the absence of a formal written contract between the parties, the jury returned a verdict for the GC for an amount that represented the difference between the sub's original price and the replacement sub's higher price. Following the multi-day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, the subcontractor appealed; the judgment was affirmed on appeal.

Construction Dispute. Successfully represented an EIFS/Stucco subcontractor in an arbitration filed against a general contractor and project owner. The owner alleged that it was not obligated to pay the subcontractor because the building had water-intrusion problems caused, allegedly, by the improper installation of the exterior stucco system. The arbitrator rejected that defense, and issued a monetary award in favor of the client.

Landlord-Tenant Dispute. Successfully represented a retired professional athlete in a suit brought by a current professional athlete concerning damage to a rental property. In a bench trial, the judge returned a verdict in favor of the client.

Professional Disability Insurance

Paul Revere Life Ins. Co. v. Jafari, United States District Court for the District of Maryland (2003). Represented a surgeon in a lawsuit filed by his disability insurance company. The insurer alleged that the surgeon intentionally shot off his finger with a shotgun to defraud the insurer into paying the surgeon monthly disability insurance benefits. The insurer sought the return of the disability benefits that had been paid to the client; the client sought a determination that the injury was accidental and, therefore, the insurer was obligated to pay monthly benefits for the term of the applicable disability policies. Given the amount of the monthly benefits and the number of years remaining on the policies, the client's claim had a value of several million dollars. After a multi-day jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician. At the conclusion of the matter, the insurance company paid a substantial amount for the surgeon's attorneys' fees.

Appeals

Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. v. Carl Saville, Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.  Served as appellate counsel for a defendant in an asbestos-related injury claim. The plaintiff obtained a $3 million jury award against the client in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. The Court of Special Appeals reversed the jury's verdict and remanded the case for a new trial, finding that the circuit court erred in denying a continuance of the trial to permit the client to pursue third-party discovery and erred by improperly consolidating the case for trial with several other defendants.

Successfully represented a general contractor (appellee) on an appeal by a subcontractor (appellant) from a money judgment against the subcontractor for abandoning a fast-track public construction project. Court of Special Appeals rejected all of appellant's appeal points, and affirmed the jury's award in its entirety.

Successfully represented a real-estate development and construction company (appellee) on an appeal by a contractor (appellant) from a defense verdict in a collection action. At trial, the contractor argued that the client owed the contractor money for construction services performed in the build-out of an office building. The Court of Special Appeals rejected all of appellant's appeal points, and affirmed the judgment in favor of the client.

Condominium Litigation

Successfully handled a number of disputes for condominium unit owners against developers, builders, and condominium associations

Debtor-Creditor / Asset Recovery

As special litigation counsel to the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Trustee, successfully argued before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland in Schlossberg, Chapter 11 Trustee v. Vincent Abell et al., Adversary Proceeding No.: 14-00417-TJC, that spoliation by the defendants was so egregious that terminating sanctions were justified. The Court entered a judgment that effectively required the turnover of scores of properties and bank accounts to the firm’s client. The case is significant both for its use of the continuing concealment doctrine in the recovery of assets and for the Court’s opinion on spoliation, which provides the latest, most comprehensive judicial discussion of sanctions for the destruction of ESI.

Served as special litigation counsel to bankruptcy trustees in two related adversary proceedings seeking the recovery of assets from affiliates and family members of two individual debtors pursuant to fraudulent conveyance and continuing concealment claims. Successfully transferred the action from the bankruptcy court to the U.S. District Court and successfully opposed the defendants' motion to strike the trustees' request for a jury trial. Successfully opposed the defendants' motion to dismiss and, thereafter, procured a court-approved settlement pursuant to which defendants paid $1.6 million into the bankruptcy estate.

Represented lead creditor in bankruptcy action to pursue debtor/construction company's claims for payment against national retailer for fees owed in connection with build-outs of retail stores across the country. Achieved favorable settlement for bankruptcy estate.

Represented a commercial judgment creditor in post-judgment collection proceedings against a commercial judgment debtor. In another federal district, the judgment creditor obtained a $1 million judgment against a Maryland company. As a result of successful collection efforts, the debtor posted a letter of credit that fully secured the judgment pending the appeal.

Local Counsel

Dave routinely serves as local counsel in Maryland state courts and in the federal courts within the District of Maryland. In his capacity as local counsel, he has worked with many national and regional lead-counsel firms. References for local counsel engagements are available upon request.

Publications

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Events

Reputation